Published: 08:51, 19 October 2018
| Updated: 11:31, 19 October 2018
A union is threatening to ballot its members over a walk-out in a dispute with a major ferry firm.
The RMT says it is in locked in a row with P&O over a new sickness procedure the Dover to Calais operator has introduced.
It represents several hundred members working at the port.
It has written to P&O asking the company to withdraw the 'sickness toolkit' policy until such time a formal agreement can be reached over sickness absence issues.
The union claims its request for "meaningful talks" has so far been ignored.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "We are demanding P&O Dover removes the new sickness procedures that it has unilaterally imposed and allows meaningful discussions to take place.
“The basis of those discussions should be our mutually agreed collective agreements for addressing sickness issues.
“In the meantime the union is preparing to ballot our affected members for industrial action in order to force P&O back to the negotiating table.”
A P&O Ferries spokesman said: “We have acted properly and fairly to introduce a new toolkit which better enables us to manage absence because of sickness and support employees who fall genuinely ill.
"There is no justification whatsoever for the RMT union to ballot for strike action."